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Mechanics Bank Appoints Brian Zeitler
As Chief Information Officer

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WALNUT CREEK, CA, August 8, 2013 — Brian Zeitler has joined Mechanics Bank as Executive Vice President/Chief Information Officer (CIO) and a member of the bank’s executive committee.

Mr. Zeitler most recently served as First Vice President, Information Technology at First Niagara Bank in Buffalo, New York, a Top 25 multi-state bank with over $37 billion in assets. During his tenure there, he was responsible for strategic technical direction and technology roadmaps for several large business units including compliance, corporate services, finance, human resources, insurance, banking operations, private banking and wealth management. He also led IT due diligence on two bank acquisitions and four insurance opportunities by First Niagara in the midst of a major expansion drive that quadrupled the bank’s size.

Mr. Zeitler began his career in 1997 at M&T Bank, an $83 billion regional giant also headquartered in Buffalo, with progressive responsibility as he rose from programmer to senior manager leading technical teams charged with critical technological improvements and upgrades.

“Brian comes to us with a rich trove of experience in leading process improvement and project management within Information Technology,” says Richard Stephenson, Interim Co-CEO of Mechanics Bank. “Throughout his career, he has not only helped develop the road maps but directed the execution of hundreds of IT projects.”

“Brian understands the never ending technology challenges Mechanics Bank, as any community bank, must face as we strive to match or exceed our larger competitors’ product and service offerings, while continually streamlining internal operations and implementing cost-efficient processes,” says Kirsten Weisser, Interim Co-CEO of Mechanics Bank “His insights, gained over a 16-year career, will be invaluable in helping us ask the right questions about technology to make the right decisions for our clients.”

“I am excited to be joining a bank that has such a remarkable relationship with its clients and communities,” says Mr. Zeitler. “There are plenty of opportunities for smart investments in technology here. Working closely with technology partners has leveled the playing field for community banks, allowing us to offer online and mobile banking products comparable or superior to those of the bigger banks. But Mechanics Bank has an inherent advantage: if a client has a problem, they can pick up the phone and talk to a real person in the bank, unlike many larger institutions with automated response systems and call centers abroad.”

“Large banks use technology to make up for their lack of personal touch and knowledge of their customers,” says Mr. Zeitler. “Mechanics Bank already knows its customers, so we are not relying solely on technology to personalize the client’s experience with us. In fact, we can leverage technology to enhance the client experience in many ways and make it easier for customers to do business with us. The key is picking the right technologies, choosing the right strategic partners, and making the right level of investment. I look forward to the challenge.”

About Mechanics Bank

For more than a century, Mechanics Bank has been committed to helping people build prosperous communities as a trusted financial partner, forging lasting relationships through teamwork, respect and integrity. The $3 billion independent bank, based in Northern California, offers personal banking, business banking, trust, brokerage and wealth management services. For more information, please visit

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Ms. Hatti Hamlin